Ridley in WSJ: Whatever Happened to Global Warming? Now come climate scientists’ implausible explanations for why the ‘hiatus’ has passed the 15-year mark
WSJ: Whatever Happened to Global Warming? Now come climate scientists’ implausible explanations for why the ‘hiatus’ has passed the 15-year mark
Whatever Happened to Global Warming?
Now come climate scientists’ implausible explanations for why the ‘hiatus’ has passed the 15-year mark.By MATT RIDLEY
Sept. 4, 2014 7:20 p.m. ET THE WALL STREET JOURNALOn Sept. 23 the United Nations will host a party for world leaders in New York to pledge urgent action against climate change. Yet leaders from China, India and Germany have already announced that they won’t attend the summit and others are likely to follow, leaving President Obama looking a bit lonely. Could it be that they no longer regard it as an urgent threat that some time later in this century the air may get a bit warmer?In effect, this is all that’s left of the global-warming emergency the U.N. declared in its first report on the subject in 1990. The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades. Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3).Even that is likely to be too high. The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or “hiatus”), but that it doesn’t after all invalidate their theories.Alas, their explanations have made their predicament worse by implying that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature—a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out.
When the climate scientist and geologist Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia wrote an article in 2006 saying that there had been no global warming since 1998 according to the most widely used measure of average global air temperatures, there was an outcry. A year later, when David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London made the same point, the environmentalist and journalist Mark …